In an emergency general assembly on Wednesday night judges from the Court of Cassation announced their rejection of the Justice Conference.
The Justice Conference was called for by President Mohamed Morsi to discuss the controversial proposed amendments to the Judiciary Law.
According to state-run news agency MENA, the Court of Cassation judges said they fully reject the conference and proposed draft Judiciary Law. The judges also called on the Supreme Judiciary Council to cancel the whole conference.
The Shura Council announced that it will discuss the draft law on 25 May.
Following the Shura Council’s decision to discuss the bill, the Supreme Judiciary Council decided on Wednesday to stop preparations for the conference after holding an emergency meeting and consulting with heads of the Supreme Constitutional Court, State Council, State Litigation Authority, and Administrative Prosecution Authority.
The Judges’ Club also announced on Wednesday that it will boycott the conference as a result of the Shura Council’s decision to consider the amendments, among other reasons.
The Salafi Al-Nour Party called on the Shura Council to not discuss the draft law before the Justice Conference in order to allow the current impasse to be resolved.
The conference includes judges, members of judicial authorities and clubs as well as legal experts, professors and lawyers. The participants are tasked with drafting their own judiciary bill which the president promised to endorse when presented to the Shura Council.
In April, the Shura Council’s Committee on Constitutional and Legislative Affairs approved three judiciary bills for discussion in plenary following heated debate. The legislature’s decision came days after the Muslim Brotherhood held a protest demanding the “purging of the judiciary”.
The Judges’ Club had said during a general assembly meeting in April that the amendments will be regarded as if they do not exist. The proposed amendments include lowering the age of retirement from 70 to 60 which would force nearly 3,000 judges into retirement.
The Court of Cassation’s general assembly said it will communicate with the general assemblies of other courts to announce a unified decision to protect the judicial authority.